Berlin officer, CCMC nurse helping storm victims in Texas

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 27: Volunteers and officers from the neiborhood security patrol help to rescue residents in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

ROSENBERG TX — A Berlin police officer is part of a 46 member team dispatched to the Gulf Coast last week to help a badly overwhelmed medical care system there.

It’s called the Connecticut One Medical Team, and it’s part of what’s called the national disaster medical system. When we talked to David Cruickshank Berlin police officer in Houston to help with hurricane aftermath last week he had just arrived in Dallas and was waiting to find out where they would be working.

On Thursday, he and the rest of the team are in a small town of Rosenberg, just down the road from Sugar Land. The 46 member team has taken over a community center there, transforming it into a freestanding emergency room.

The team’s leader, Lynn Piacentini-Hayes says they’re now treating patients who’ve been injured in the storm’s aftermath, and those whose regular care has been interrupted. “Dialysis patients, patients with chronic cardiac or pulmonary conditions,” she tells us. “Some things that occur as people start to clean up debris, minor lacerations.”

Piacentini-Hayes, a critical care transport nurse at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford,  is the team’s commander.

Cruickshank provides security, which involves anything from guarding pharmaceuticals to crowd control if necessary. But they’ve had nothing but amazing support from the people of Texas.

“The other night,” he says,  “we had volunteers—who are all affected—and they were helping us put up tents so we could get some sleep because we hadn’t slept in 21 hours or so.”

He also says a local church group is cooking them breakfast in the morning. Rosenberg hasn’t had the kind of catastrophic flooding that other parts of the Gulf Coast have.

They’re dealing more with wind damage from the hurricane’s landfall, and tornadoes that followed. Right now, the team doesn’t know how long they will be in Texas, but they’re prepared for anything.

As Piacentini-Hayes puts it, “we’re just here to support and serve as long as we’re needed.”